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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian producer prices rose by 0.2 percent in March from February, pushed up by higher prices for petroleum and coal products, Statistics Canada said on Monday.
The increase was less than the 0.3 percent advance predicted by market operators. Raw material prices plunged by 1.6 percent on weaker mineral fuels, a far cry from the 0.3 percent growth expected by analysts.
Industrial prices were boosted by a 1.8 percent increase in the prices of petroleum and coal products, in particular a 4.7 percent jump in gasoline.
The advance was moderated by a 1.0 percent drop in the prices of primary metal products in the wake of weaker economic activity in Asia that cut demand for nickel and aluminum.
Raw material prices dropped for the second month in a row, pulled lower by a 3.6 percent drop in the price of mineral fuels. Crude petroleum prices fell 3.8 percent, the fourth consecutive monthly drop.